9 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. I had heard or read that you had made some comment lamenting the fact that Dylan went electric. I searched your site but couldn’t find the reference. Can you enlighten me as to what you said, because fearing the worst, I now read everything you write thinking of that comment about Dylan (the comment I haven’t seen).

  2. It’s in “false advertising”, which went slighly amuk since the original comment was a professorial joke… I presume this means the search facility doesn’t work the comments over.

  3. I’m reading Economia- I’m enjoying the parts where Davies applies his knowledge of physics and complex systems to economic systems.
    His vision of economics as a tool to support human values seems both obvious and rather radical. I’d be interested to hear what economists thought of the book.

  4. Steve Bracks is claiming that he needs to ban GM canola in Victoria to keep the Green abnd clean Image of the victorian Dairy industry BUT
    GM feeds are already being used in that dairy industry, according to an official government commissioned report:

    “Feed supplements containing grain or grain derivatives from GM crops already enter the [Victorian Dairy] stock feed chain through imported GM soybean meal and Australian Cottonseed meal”
    So what’s Bracks trying to protect? And why the spin?
    ACIL Tasman Genetically Modified Canola Report page Xiii
    (Executive summary)
    See reports at
    Friday, 26 March 2004

  5. Yes d and the Victorian dairy industry have propocols in place to limit GM feed intake to 5% in any case.

    I think “image” must be the key word here, as it relates to perceptions rather than substance.

    Also policies are not always based on rationality.

  6. d you mention that the Bracks government has banned GM canola so that they can maintain their clean and green image in the dairy industry. I’m confused. Paul Weller, President of the Victorian Farmers Fedeation in an emotional spray in the Age yesterday claims that the government “has publicly announced it does not have confidence in the grains industry’s ability to segregate grains or manage market requirements.”

    Is there any source you can point us to that gives a coherent and authoritative account of the Brack’s government’s reasons?

    There is another point that needs clarification.

    Weller makes much of the effort being mounted in research on GM technology in Victoria. George Monbiot in an article ‘Seeds of destruction’ points out that in Britain, where government funding has overwhelmingly supported gene technology as against other technologies, scientists are complaining that their careers are in jeopardy and that they may have to emigrate overseas.

    Monbiot has no sympathy for them. He says they should not have based their careers on a technology that the market (ie. consumers) has rejected.

    But Julie Newman on Network of Concerned Farmers in WA said on radio National the other day that there was a sizable and very impressive local plant breeding technology industry which would be put in jeopardy if GM crops were released for planting. She says there is a role for gene technology, but it should be kept in the lab, whatever that means.

    Now I’ve often heard Julie on the radio. She always seems to have a mind that is as clear as a bell. I’m sure she feels emotionally about the issue, because as a seed producer on the non-GM kind she sees her livelihood as under threat. It never seems to show, however, and the funding of her organisation seems clean.

    Weller, on the other hand, writes as though he needs to join a yoga class. Also, if memory serves me right, his organisation is one that was very effectively penetrated by Monsanto according to the SBS documentary I saw last year.

    How is the interested layperson expected to know who to believe, let alone the supermarket shopper?

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